We are extremely concerned by the speed with which the House has rushed through HB102 (campus conceal carry), and encourage the Senate legislators to slow down and heed the concerns of the Montana University System.
Sponsor Rep. Seth Berglee, R-Joliet, believes the Second Amendment supersedes all other considerations, but a 2008 a Supreme Court ruling establishing the rights of Washington D.C. residents to possess firearms in their homes contained qualifications. Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, said that “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.” He went on to say that nothing in the court’s decision “should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions … or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings …” Moreover, a legal review accompanying the bill notes that decisions specific to college campuses are constitutionally reserved to the Board of Regents.
Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education Kevin McCrae cites three reasons for their opposition to the bill: general safety, facility and crowd management, and student health and wellness. He provides statistics showing increased accidental shootings and misfirings on campuses allowing firearms, and emphasizes that campuses nationwide (without guns) are safe places.
This bill should be opposed.
Caryl and Tom Cox
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